Happy Feast to all; today, we celebrate the Feast of the Transverberation of St. Teresa of Jesus. Don’t let the long name blow this feast over your head – transverberation simply means “the piercing of the heart.” This means that today, we celebrate a mystical experience of St. Teresa, in which her heart was pierced by an angel and she was set a blaze with the love of Christ – her spouse. This is such an important feast for an aspiring Carmelite, with a blog dedicated to St. Teresa of Avila.
Rather than have myself explain the meaning of the feast, fumble around trying, I am going to let St. Teresa explain in her own words. The following is a (long) quote taken from chapter XXIX of The Autobiography of St. Teresa of Avila.
“It pleased the Lord that I should see this angel in the following way. He was not very tall, but short, and very beautiful, his face so aflame that he appeared to be one of the highest types of angel who seem all afire. They must be those who are called cherubim: they do not tell me their names but I am well aware that there is a difference between certain angels and others, and between these and others still, of a kind that I could not possibly explain. In his hands I saw a long golden spear and at the end of the iron tip I seemed to see a point of fire. With this he seemed to pierce my heart several times so that it penetrated to my entrails. When he drew it out, I thought he was drawing them out with it and he left me completely afire with a great love for God. The pain was so sharp that it made me utter several moans; and so excessive was the sweetness caused me by this intense pain that one can never wish to lose it, nor will one’s soul be content with anything less than God. It is not bodily pain, but spiritual, though the body has a share in it-indeed, a great share. So sweet are the colloquies of love which pass between the soul and God that if anyone thinks that I am lying I beseech God, in his goodness, to give him the same experience (The Autobiography of St. Teresa of Avila Trans. & Ed. by E. Allison Peers 192-193).”
This mystical experience is remarkably rare indeed. However for the skeptics who refuse to believe, there is physical evidence of this mystical experience. After St. Teresa of Avila died, her body decomposed – but her heart remained incorrupt. Her heart, very rarely put on display in Avila for the faithful venerate, bears a hole in the left side – the mark left by the angel’s fiery dart.
So today, please beseech this great saint on her feast to assist you in your prayer-life, and to light you ablaze with the Love of God. Please remember these words, penned by St. Teresa of Avila: “GOD ALONE SUFFICETH.” May God Bless You!
P.S. I should have started this post about 8 hours ago (Go Pack Go! & condolences to the Colts) – then I would not be trying to squeeze it in before 11:59 P.M. Please pray that I get on top of writing these posts before 11:00 P.M. Thank You in advance.